spider web

Orb Weaver Spider Control: Protect Your Home

Appearance

What Do Orb Weaver Spiders Look Like?
Size: Female orb weavers are almost always larger than males, and common species share an average range of 1/4 to 1 inch in length.

Color: Nocturnal orb weaver spiders tend to appear brown or gray in color, while diurnal species are brighter and come in many different colors, including yellow and orange.

Characteristics: Members of these species each have two body segments, eight legs, and two small palps that resemble mini-legs and are used for grabbing prey. The abdomens of these spiders differ from species to species and aid in identification. They are usually quite large and can appear spiny, smooth, or irregular in shape.

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Facts

  • Distribution: Nearly 4,000 species of orb weaver spiders exist throughout the world, approximately 180 of which are found in the United States and Canada.
  • Webs: Their webs are often thought of as the archetypical construction and are made up of concentric circles and radial spokes.
  • Species: Some orb weavers common to our service area include yellow and black garden spiders, cross orb weavers, fierce orb weavers, marbled orb weavers, and barn spiders. The latter served as the model for the popular arachnid character from the beloved children’s book, Charlotte’s Web.

Food

What Do Orb Weaver Spiders Eat?
Carnivorous creatures, orb weaver spiders adhere to a diet mainly comprised of insects. Typically, they eat any prey that becomes trapped in their webs, but favorite meals include:

Biology

Life Cycle
Most species of orb weavers complete their entire maturation, mating, and reproduction processes between spring and the beginning of winter.

Eggs
Females produce one to four egg sacs during the mating season, and each sac contains between 300 and 1,400 eggs.

Lifespan
Spiderlings hatch looking like miniature versions of adult spiders and go through several molts before reaching maturity. Orb weaver spiders rarely live longer than one year.

Detection

  • Humidity: Look for webs in gardens, stairwells, on the exterior of homes, in cellars, and anywhere with suitable humidity.
  • Seasonal: May notice adult orb weavers inside at the onset of cold weather.
  • Bites: Be alert for orb weaver spider bites, which produce tiny red marks, pain, and swelling lasting approximately two days.

Problems Caused by Orb Weaver Spiders

Nuisance
Since orb weavers prey on a number of pest insects, their presence is typically beneficial to humans.

However, people who suffer from arachnophobia may experience anxiety and insomnia when forced to share close quarters with the spiders.

Venomous
Additionally, these spiders are venomous. Though they are not aggressive and bites are rare, injuries inflicted by orb weavers usually result in:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps

Symptoms last an average of two days but may persist as long as three weeks.

Signs of Infestation

  • Nocturnal: As these spiders are mostly nocturnal, humans may not be alerted to their presence for some time.
  • Webs: The first indication that an infestation is present is finding webs, especially in stairwells, on the exteriors of buildings around light fixtures, in windowsills, and in cellars.
  • Disturbance: Orb weavers flee at the first sign of a threat, so people may also be alerted to their presence when they disturb fallen leaves or branches and an adult spider scurries away.

Prevention Tips

Food Sources
To reduce the possibility of attracting orb weaver spiders into the home, residents should attempt to limit available food sources.

In other words, steps must be taken to deter insects. This entails:

  • Clearing the clutter from basements and attics.
  • Fitting indoor and outdoor trash bins with secure lids.
  • Eliminating debris from yards.
  • Maintaining shrubbery and other forms of outdoor vegetation.
  • Replacing broken window and door screens.

Humidity
Homeowners and residents should also control indoor humidity levels by removing sources of collected water and using dehumidifiers and use yellow outside lighting that is less attractive to spiders and their insect prey.

Tips for Removal from Home

Vacuum
Upon spotting adult orb weavers or their webs, use a vacuum or broom to clear the spiders and their homes.

Call the Professionals
In cases of larger infestations, contact a pest control professional. Licensed specialists have the tools and knowledge required to efficiently clear buildings of orb weaver spiders.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857